This move is the second move the Warriors have made during the 2020 NBA Free Agency period as their first was the release of rookie guard Ky Bowman. Wanamaker’s contract is a 1-year deal worth $2.25 million. This move signals the Warriors have landed a capable backup point guard to their star and former MVP Steph Curry.
Given the injury to their star shooting guard Klay Thompson who will now be out the entirety of the upcoming 2020-2021 NBA season, the Warriors were looking for players who could join and potentially succeed with an increased role from their former team. Wanamaker fits that bill having played sparingly behind the Celtics guards Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart.
Who is Brad Wanamaker?
Wanamaker attended college at the University of Pittsburgh playing there all four years. Upon graduation, he played internationally in Itlay before coming back to the US and playing for the San Antonio Spurs’ G-League team the Austin Toros. While a Toro, he aided the team to helped them win a 2012 G-League title.
From there, he played overseas again in France, Italy, and Germany even picking up a Finals MVP award while with Basketball Bundesliga for his play during the 2014-2015 Finals and a Most Valuable Player award during the 2015-2016 season in the German BBL. Wanamaker also earned an All-EuroLeague Second Team selection in 2017.
During his time with the Celtics last season, Wanamaker averaged 6.9 points, 2.5 assists, 2 rebounds, while shooting 92% from the free-throw line. From beyond the three-point line, Wannamaker averaged 37% over his two seasons there.
Wannamaker is being brought in to be a backup to Curry. Given the log jam of guards and forward the Celtics had, this will be a unique opportunity for him to blossom being one the lead guards for the Warriors secondary unit. With his size being 6’3 and weighing 210lbs he can also play some shooting guard being able to physically withstand some perimeter players.
Warriors Roster Starting to Cement
Having Thompson miss the entire upcoming 2020 – 2021 season is a huge blow to the Warriors. With that being their new reality, they are making key moves to continue to stay in contention and as competitive as possible. Alongside adding Wanamaker into their roster, they also used their traded player exception of $17.2 million to acquire Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kelly Oubre Jr. who was recently acquired by the Thunder in a deal with the Phoenix Suns for their starting point guard Chris Paul.
Last season, Oubre Jr. increased his production averaging 18.7 points per game pulling down a total of 6.4 rebounds per game, and shot behind the three-point line with an average of 35%. Yet the Warriors may not be done in free agency just yet. With news of them applying for a disabled player exception, they may still look to add pieces to their team. If the Warriors can continue to make moves on the margins similar to these they may push themselves back into the top of the western conference.